CU-Somerset Tigers get first win of season on the road

CU-Somerset freshman forward Deion Finnison scored a game-high 21 points in last Saturday’s game at Boyce College in Louisville. Al Gover’s club erased a double-digit deficit late in that contest, to roar back to pick up its first win of the season, with a 91-90 victory. The Tigers — 1-1 on the young season — will return to action this weekend playing in the Bluefield State Classic in West Virginia.
Photo by Steve Cornelius

By DOUG EADS

When Al Gover and the Campbellsville-Somerset University Tigers took to the road for the first time of the young season last weekend, the local team left almost half of its roster at home.

Missing two starters — Keelan Kennedy and Titus Ransom — along with some other key reserves, Gover and the Tigers found themselves in deep trouble late in the contest.

Playing at Boyce College in Louisville, CU-Somerset trailed the Bulldogs by 12 points with just under eight minutes left in the game.



No worries however, Gover’s club — albeit with a depleted lineup for this contest — refused to fold.

Freshman Deion Finnison poured in a team-high 21 points, while freshman guard TC Wright added 19 points, helping the Tigers get off the mat to rally for a thrilling, 91-90 win over the Bulldogs, to even their record to 1-1 on the season with a big-time win.

“We had some kids step up and make some big plays on Saturday,” pointed out coach Gover.

“We had some kids out for that game, but I told the kids that we had that this was their opportunity to set up, and they did just that,” continued the CU-Somerset head coach. “Now, we know that we have some kids that are on our bench that when we need them to step up and make a contribution, they have proven they are capable.”

The Tigers — missing six players — only trailed Boyce College 45-42 at the intermission, however the Bulldogs attempted to put Gover’s club away in the second half.

CU-Somerset trailed in this one by double figures for much of the second half, but the Tigers would not go away, rallying several times from double-deficit deficits.

Gover’s club hit on 7 of 25 attempts from behind the three-point arc for the contest, but the Tigers made their hay down in the paint, outscoring Boyce by a whopping, 54-38 margin inside, which enabled CU-Somerset to stay within striking distance of Boyce College.

“I was very disappointed in our season opener against Marian in the fact that I didn’t think we competed in the second half of that game,” Gover stated.



“At Boyce College, we faced a ton of adversity, but we kept competing,” added the Tigers coach. “It was their season opener, they had a full gym, and a very loud crowd right on top of us, so our kids had a lot to overcome, but they never quit competing hard, and they overcame it all. Anytime you can get a big win like that on the road, it’s a nice win indeed.”

TJ Owes added 13 points in the win for CU-Somerset, while Kenyan McKee added 12 points, and Trevon Cooper chipped in with 10 points.

CU-Somerset — 1-1 on the season — will return to action this weekend, playing in the Bluefield State Classic in West Virginia.

The Tigers will face Bryant and Stratton College in their first game of that event on Friday night.

CU-S  42  49 — 91

BC  45  45 — 90

CU-SOMERSET — Finnison 21, Wright 19, Owes 13, McKee 12, Cooper 10, Johnson 9, Thomas 5, Hurt 2.

BOYCE COLLEGE — Benham 26, Nauert 15, Kirby 10, Billings 10, Alexakos 10, Quinley 5, I. Gibson 5, Crawford 5, Turner 2, Kays 1, J. Gibson 1.





Warriors blow out Madison Central 37-6

Southwestern’s Mason Hibbard hauls in one of his three receptions on Friday night, which included a touchdown. The Warriors ran their winning streak to three games in a row, with a 37-6 win over Madison Central. On Friday night, Southwestern will have a much-anticipated rematch with arch-rival Pulaski County in the opening round of the Class 5 A playoffs.
Photo by Nick Hibbard

By DOUG EADS

Most all football coaches will tell you they want their team to be playing its best when the playoffs begin.

Well, mission accomplished for the Southwestern Warriors.

Almost a month ago, Jason Foley’s club was hip deep in a sea of mediocrity with a sub-par 2-5 record.



Today as the post season is getting set to get underway, the blue and orange Warriors are red-hot.

Southwestern won its third game in a row last Friday night, with an impressive, 37-6 beatdown over visiting Madison Central.

And, it was a complete team effort.

Quarterback Blake Burton connected on 8-13 passes for 115 yards, which included a TD pass to wide out Mason Hibbard.

Tanner Wright scored a pair of rushing touchdowns, gaining 129 yards on only 5 carries.

Austin Barnes and Chase Doan also scored TD’s on the ground, while Hibbard led the Warriors in receiving with 3 catches for 74 yards and a TD.

This week, the Warriors will open the Class 5 A playoffs and will seek to win their fourth game in a row, but it won’t be easy.

Southwestern will travel across town to take on arch-rival Pulaski County — a Maroon team that Foley and crew just defeated less than a couple of weeks ago in overtime by a final score of 15-7.



PC leads the all-time series over the Warriors at 16-15, and the Maroons are 3-1 all-time against Southwestern in the playoffs, taking down Southwestern in 2014, ’16, and ’18 in regional title games.

Can the Warriors make it four wins in a row and end their playoff skid against PC, or will the Maroons continue their dominance over Southwestern in the post season?

Stay tuned Friday night for the answers to the above questions in what should be a great playoff game between two outstanding teams.

If you can’t make it to the game at PC Field, tune in to iHeartRadio of Somerset on LAKE 102.3 FM, as yours truly and Adam Bray will have all of the coverage, beginning with our pregame show beginning at 7:15 p.m.



Marian blows out CU-Somerset in Tigers season opener

CU-Somerset freshman guard TC Wright led the Tigers on Monday night with 24 points, however it was visiting Marian University coming away with a 115-73 win over Al Gover’s club.
Photo by Steve Cornelius

By DOUG EADS

Al Gover and the Campbellsville-Somerset University Tigers came into the 2019-20 college basketball season with high aspirations, however the local team took one on the proverbial chin to open season number two as a collegiate basketball program on Monday evening at Somerset Christian School.

Taking on a very good and established NAIA program in Marian University out of Indianapolis, Indiana on Monday night in the season opener, coach Gover knew his club had a tall order in front of it, and boy was he right.

The visiting Knights led the homestanding Tigers by just nine points at the intermission, 47-38, but Marian put things in another gear after the intermission, outscoring Somerset 68-35 in the second half.



As a result, it was the Tigers falling to 0-1 on the season, coming up on the short end of the scoreboard in their opener by a whopping 42 points, losing to Marian University by a final score of 115-73.

“They whipped us good tonight,” Gover lamented immediately following Monday night’s contest.

“It was just a nine-point game at halftime,and you go in feeling pretty good about yourself, and then you go out in the second half and you don’t compete very hard, and I just don’t understand that,” added the CU-Somerset head coach. “This game is about competition, and if you don’t compete, there’s no reason to play.”

Competing is exactly what Gover’s club was able to do early on.

Despite the fact that Marian’s dynamic duo of Christian Stewart and Sterling Brown was prolific from behind the three-point arc, Gover’s club hung tough early on.

Titus Ransom tallied 13 of his 20 points in the opening half for CU-Somerset, and despite trailing for the entire half, Ransom’s long three-point bomb just before the horn sounded ending the first half had the halftime deficit under double figures at 47-38.

In the second frame however, this one was all Marian.

Cameron Wolter went to work on the inside for the Knights, and he led everybody in scoring with a game-high 25 points, as CU-Somerset had no answer for the big man down in the paint.



Brown and Stewart remained hot from the outside in the second period, while Christian Harvey came off the bench to score all 15 of his points for Marian University in the second half of play.

Freshman guard TC Wright fought hard to keep the Tigers within striking distance of the Knights, scoring 15 of his team-high 24 points after the intermission, but it would not be enough down the stretch, as Marian put its foot on the gas pedal over the game’s final eight minutes,rolling to the 42-point win over the local club.

“Our competition doesn’t get any easier, and it’s something that we’ve got to continue to work on, and that’s learning howto play and compete hard each and every time we go out there,” pointed out coach Gover.

“Of course this was a tough opponent to start out the year with, but you still have to go out and compete hard, and that means you do it on each and every possession, both offensively and defensively,” added the Tigers head coach. “We practice hard, and we get after it, but when you have a night like this in the second half, you walkaway kind of scratching your head.”

The Tigers — 0-1 on the season — will try to bounce back this Saturday, as Gover and CU-Somerset will travel to Louisville to take on Boyce College at 2 p.m.

MU — 47 68 — 115

CU-S — 38 35 — 73

MARIAN UNIV. — Wolter 25, Brown 22, Stewart 18, Harvey 15, Langkabel 11, Nwankwo 10, Gohmann 7, Taylor 5, Heady 2.



CU-SOMERSET — Wright 24, Ransom 20, Kennedy 10, Cofer 5, Hurt 4, Finnison 4, McKee 2, Owes 2, Cooper 2.



CU-Somerset takes down Union in scrimmage, 59-47

Al Gover is set to embark upon his second season as the head coach of the Campbellsville-Somerset Tigers. On Thursday night, the Tigers traveled to Union and knocked off the Bulldogs in a scrimmage, 59-47.
Photo by Steve Cornelius

By DOUG EADS

After beating and banging on one another all throughout the preseason, the Campbellsville-Somerset Tigers went on the road on Thursday night to Union College, to take on the Bulldogs in their one and only scrimmage of the preseason.

And, head coach Al Gover had to like what he saw from his team for the most part.

Sophomore guard Titus Ransom scored 13 of his team-high 15 points after the intermission, Keelan Kennedy chipped in with 12 points, and newcomer Deion Finnison added 11 points, as the Tigers prevailed in the scrimmage by a final score of 59-47.



The scrimmage — whittled down to only 10 minutes in the second half — gave the Tigers their first opportunity to go up against an opponent, and the CU-Somerset squad showed some positive glimpses of what is to come this season.

Gover and crew led this one 39-27 at the half, playing some pretty good basketball in the opening 20 minutes of play.

Both coaches agreed to trim the second half down to only a 10-minute period, and it was homestanding Union that looked to take control of the contest at that juncture.

The Bulldogs began the second frame with a 9-0 run, to re-take the lead over CU-Somerset 38-37, but that’s when Ransom and company went to work.

Somerset responded to that run by Union, and that was a key takeaway from the game for coach Gover — his team faced adversity, and answered that adversity with a big-time comeback of its own.

“Our guys really responded there after giving up the lead to start the second half, and I was very pleased with their effort,” stated Gover.

“When Union started making its run and began to put some pressure on us there to start the second half and got us down one, our kids responded and fought back and regained their composure,” added the Tigers coach. “We made a couple of big plays, got the lead back, and kept it, so I was really pleased with that.”

The Tigers — in their inaugural year of college basketball last season — began the year by dropping their first 13 games of the season, but responded big-time by going 8-6 over the last half of the 2018-’19 season.



Last season concluded with a third place finish in the Christian College National Invitational Basketball Tournament, and Gover and company will be looking to build upon that this season.

The Tigers open the season next week, and the first game out of the shoot is going to be a monumental task for the Tigers, as they will host Marian University out of Indianapolis.

Last season, the Knights went 28-8 on the year and advanced all the way to the Final Four of the NAIA National Basketball Tournament.

The Knights come into this season without their top three scorers from that Final Four squad from a year ago, but nonetheless, Gover says this is going to be a tough opener for his basketball team.

“It’s a tough opener for us, but you do need to play good people early to see where you are,” pointed out the Tigers head coach.

“Hopefully, we compete hard and we play hard, and we’re going in thinking we’re going to win the ballgame,” Gover added.

The CU-Somerset–Marian University game kicks off the Tigers season on Monday night, October 28th at Somerset Christian School beginning at 7:30 p.m.



Warriors, Maroons renew a great rivalry

Southwestern running back Chase Doan leads the Warriors with 634 yards rushing and seven TD’s this season. He is seen here running for a big gain in a game against South Laurel last week. On Friday night, Doan and the Warriors will face arch-rival Pulaski County — 7-1 on the season — on the Maroons home turf.
Photo by Nick Hibbard

By DOUG EADS

One of the best rivalries in the state of Kentucky in high school football renews on Friday night at PC Field, as the homestanding 7-1 Pulaski County Maroons will square off against arch-rival Southwestern.

The Warriors are 3-5 on the season, but are coming into tomorrow night’s contest with some much-needed momentum, coming off of last week’s 38-20 win over South Laurel.

This has been a great rivalry throughout the years, as PC has won 9 of the last 13 meetings, including last season’s win at Southwestern, and the regional title game at Pulaski County.



Thanks to those two wins by the Maroons last year, Pulaski County leads the all-time series over Southwestern by a 16-14 margin heading into this week’s game.

Warrior head coach Jason Foley — his first year as a head coach in this rivalry — says he knows ahead of time just how big a challenge Friday night’s game with Pulaski County is going to be for his team.

“Pulaski County has a very solid veteran and senior laden team,” stated Foley.

“They have had a good year up to this point, and they have won some tight games,” added the Warrior head coach. “Defensively, they are strong in the box with their ‘D’ line and linebackers leading the way. Offensively, their passing game is strong, with long, tall receivers that can make plays vertically and across the middle of the field as well.”

The Maroons have had the best in this series of late over Southwestern, knocking off the Warriors in regional championship games in 2014, 2016, and again last season in 2018.

In 2014, Southwestern defeated Pulaski County in the regular season, but the Maroons avenged that loss five weeks later in the regional title game on their way to a Class 5 A State Football Championship.

PC head coach Johnny Hines is 13-11 all-time as the Maroons head coach in this series, and he says when these two get together, one thing is for certain — throw the records out the proverbial window.

“Alabama and Auburn have ‘The Iron Bowl’, Michigan has Ohio State, USC has Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Texas have ‘The Red River War’, and the ‘Sunshine State’ has Florida verses Florida State,” pointed out coach Hines. “This game is all of that and more in south central Kentucky.”



“This game is always the game of the year,” Hines continued. “Southwestern is an immensely talented team, and they always are. The have great players and they will come over here on Friday night planning on winning this game. This is one of the greatest high school football rivalries around, and it’s been great to have been part of it for the past 25 years.”

Kickoff for the Pulaski County — Southwestern football game is slated to get underway from PC Field on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

If you can’t make it to the game, yours truly and Adam Bray will have all of the coverage on LAKE 102.3 FM, with our pregame coverage getting underway at 7:15 p.m.



The CU-Somerset Tigers



CU-Somerset Tigers hold Maroon and White night

Somerset Tigers forward Malik Lovan (2) goes in for a hoop over Deion Finnison (24) in Tuesday night’s annual Maroon and White night at Somerset Christian School. The CU-Somerset Tigers finished their inaugural season of collegiate basketball with a 8-19 record last year, but finished the year strong by going 8-6 over the second half of the season, while placing third in the Christian College National Invitational Tournament at the end of the season.
Photo by Lillie Pelphrey

By DOUG EADS

The Campbellsville-Somerset University Tigers are coming into year number two as a collegiate basketball program with very lofty expectations and high aspirations.

And why not?

Al Gover’s club went 8-6 over the second half of last season — its inaugural year as a college basketball program — which included a third place finish at the end of the season in the Christian College National Invitational Basketball Tournament.



With several players returning, and a very good mix of incoming freshmen with an abundance of talent, the future looks very bright for CU-Somerset.

On Tuesday night, Gover and his team unveiled a glimpse of things to come for the upcoming season with CU-Somerset’s annual Maroon and White night at Somerset Christian School, and afterwards, the Tigers head coach came away very pleased with what he witnessed from his team.

“We’ve definitely got a lot of things that we need to work on, but I thought our kids played very hard in front of a crowd for the first time,” stated a very happy coach Gover.

“I thought we had a few jitters tonight, and I think some of the guys tried to do a little more than their capable of doing at times,” added the Tigers head coach. “For the most part though, I thought they played pretty well, especially offensively. Defensively, we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

The Tigers open the 2019-’20 college basketball season this coming Monday night, October 28th at 7:30 p.m. at Somerset Christian School, against a very good Marion University out of Indianapolis.

Gover says while he knows that game is going to be a very stern test out of the gate for his club, he can’t wait to get year number two underway for the upstart program.

“We’ve been beating on each other for awhile now, so we’re looking forward to getting a chance to beat on somebody else,” pointed out Gover.

“Marion’s coming in as a very highly touted team, so it’s going to be a very good home opener for us, and I hope to see a big crowd out here at Somerset Christian School next Monday night,” Gover added.



Tipoff for the Marion game is set for Monday night at 7:30 p.m.